All work and no play makes for a dull life. Each day is filled with accomplishments that remain unrecognized.
Tonight I’m celebrating a year of changes. Doing my best to focus on the good I’ve accomplished this year of being single, while letting go of the things that didn’t go so well. Endings precede beginnings…
I’m far from perfect and it’s easy to focus on the imperfections…like in the pen and ink drawing above, my eyes are immediately drawn to where the pattern is rough, or the errant pencil marks left behind. Yet this is a habit that’s time has come to be broken. This year I’ve climbed mountains and conquered many fears, along the way I’ve shed many tears. Through my vulnerability, I have helped others to find their own power; both here and at work. No more will I ruin my day based on a few errant marks. The overall drawing and the day are still beautiful…
What about your life can you celebrate today? Gratitude opens the heart that grief closes.
The Vesica Pisces is a common visual presence across many world religions. In Italian it is called a mandalora (almond), similar to the Indian Mandala. Within the center of each of these religious symbols balance is achieved. Most importantly, one reaches this center through the synthesis of the two edges of Duality. It is in this space that a new consciousness is born.
This concept is so simple that it may just be unbelievable and thus easily dismissed. At the same time, the work required is not always so easy as it may initially sound. For how does one merge two opposites?
Yet the key to our release from suffering is found by allowing without judgment the simultaneous existence of two opposites. It is in the center of these two overlapping circles that we can transcend Duality. This is not a compromise. Instead it is a synthesis and if permitted to fully unfold, it is transcendent. I call this moment of synthesis The God Moment.
The journey to the God moment can be a most painful process when we walk through the valleys of the shadows of death. Yet at other times such as during sex, the joining of two opposites can be incredibly erotic…and hopefully pleasurable.
It now makes so much sense as to why many of us seek these edges. In seeking the highs, and often unintentially the lows, we are seeking something greater than ourselves. Yet it is often during these times that we turn to distractions and addictions that prevent us from fully experiencing and marrying the edges of Duality. Thus we miss the God moment and we miss the opportunity to become transcendent.
Allowing the dual existence of two opposites is the key to our release from our suffering, yet this surrender can seem to tear us apart and is why so many of us stop the process just prior to its full fruition. It is our faith and our ability to breathe through the process that allows us to pass through the valley – and transcend it. We must believe that our thoughts, beliefs and emotions cannot kill us. Yet we have been taught to fear our shadow and the baggage that it brings, so it can be challenging to walk with these aspects and this prevents us from being able to transcend them. Walking with our shadows means we must acknowledge them; things we were taught to avoid at all costs.
On a very basic level, transcendence is sexual. The merging of two opposite energies is how new life can be created. For with each aspect of Duality that we transcend, we are born again and see life in a new way. Are you excited yet?!
Furthermore it is in these moments of synthesis that we touch and are touched by something greater than ourselves: God. The more we can merge these edges, the more we merge heaven and earth.
Sadly, just as with sex, eventually we also return to our experience of Duality. With each action of life we produce both light and shadow. Thus the shadow emerges to give us repeated opportunities to heal and transcend through another synthesis and another rebirth. No wonder the Vesica Pisces has such a vulvar look to it, or maybe it’s just me?
Now I plan to investigate the use of Sex as a means of transcendence. I have a strong sense that this use of sexual energies requires foundational work that goes beyond casual sex. I’ve read some about tantra and have a feeling I’ll find more answers there…if you’ve read anything along these lines, feel free to share sources in the comments section or gmail me at tiffanybeingfree. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with various images of the Vesica Pisces or mandalora.
The Vesica Pisces is also the basic pattern for the seed -, tree – and flower of life.
While I’ve written about this synthesis of duality within the Owning Your Own Shadow series, based on readings from the book by Robert A. Johnson, today brings an entirely new level of understanding. Healing is about sex: the merging of two opposites.
I saw myself in each person I met today & I loved myself more for it in a new way.
Please join me in this journey of love and acceptance. Each person we meet is our mirror, reflecting back to us a part of ourselves that deserves love and recognition: the dark and the light. Each little and big bit!
After about a mile into my 5+ mile Sunday hike I sat on a bench and chronicled the pure ecstasy of my Sunday sojourn. In this post I share how taking a side trail shifted my experience…and some of my paradigms as I traveled through The Bardo: The place of transition according to Tibetian Buddhism.
A turn through the style
And a passage into a past time once lived
At first, I searched for new memories
Then different scenes, scents and thoughts brought back times long gone
The salty air of the marsh trail
Old scenes crashing into erotic thoughts now lost
The boardwalks where wayward dogs
Sought refuge from heat in muddy waters
Humans followed two sets of large paw prints
The tide moves into this place of transition
And with it the memories return, bittersweetly
The many years of scenes with
Wet dogs swimming at every clearing
in brackish waters begging for owners to
Throw a stick or a toy
Careful in some places, the current is swift and will steal
Away the gifts
In this moment, my presence reaches for
The sights and sounds …
The feeling of water brushed onto my legs as wet, excited dogs run past
of dogs playfully nipping at one another
A competition for the attention of their owners
Loyal dogs with high intelligence
Their ears perk and heads turn giving us
Their full attention
Chewbacka just may have been modeled after a German Shepherd Dog’s vocal inflections
Then there are the copper cypress needles adding richness to the brown hues on the trail
Here I remember my son’s first steps on the sodden earth
Or carrying my daughter in a rainbow sling,
Pausing for snap shots and capturing memories
Or the “pregnant” tree I stood beside
When my first baby bump began to show
Yes, here I am once again in the Bardo
Where the bittersweet memories meet the pain of what is no more
Walking along the low trails near the cypress bogs
I release my emotional pain into the winds
And through salty tears that stain my cheeks
Then in the mirror-like water of the tiny lakes
I see the sky reflected more beautifully below than it is above
The water’s reflection symbolic of its adoration of the sky
Oh, to be adored in such a way
My mind takes a different path on this day
For so long I have feared my uniqueness and my ability to carry so many different energies
Now in this place of Bardo and balance, I see and begin to believe
by law there exists a man
Who can carry the same
More tears well up, threatening to burst forth
Yes, there must be balance – you cannot be alone in this
The smell of the earth and cypress needles fills my senses
Soon to be replaced by a curious citrus…
Tears from bittersweet memories have dried on my face,
Such a cleansing feeling the citron scent brings
It’s been at least 18 years since I started hiking regularly at this park
Hard to miss memories made here
I wish I had appreciated all of these times more
Lessons I seem to learn over & over again
The search for new memories
Slowly replaced by the reliving of old ones
All in the same place
The Bardo: this place of transition
I could know by now that ecstasy can only be maintained for moments in time, surely each time I soar or fly, there is a requisite digging into the darkness below. Balance in all things.
This song seems to capture the feelings I had during the latter part of my Hike.
It can be a real struggle to move out of grief during this time of year when the overarching myth is that everyone should be happy and celebrating.
Wednesday, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, changes the tide from outgoing to incoming light. Today, we have the opportunity to look into our own darkness to find our lights, for it is only in the darkness that we can most fully appreciate the stars.
Personally, the holidays have become a reminder for me of what was. Interesting to look back and see where I have painted Pre-divorce winter holidays in a golden light that is only partial truth. In elevating the past, I devalue the present. Now I’m changing the tide by allowing myself to feel gratitude for all of the beauty I do have in my life. This gives the present moment a greater sense of wholeness.
So please join me, “shake it out” so that we can all more fully appreciate who we are and what we do have, even when we believe more is never enough, when we celebrate what we do have we open ourselves more and more to love. In the presence of gratitude the closed heart opens what grief has “stolen.” Let’s shake it out!
A dear friend recently reminded me that I need to write the story to bring a solid partnership into my life. While she first said this over a month ago, it has only been in the last week or so that I finally came to a place where I believed that I am both worthy and capable of having such a partnership. So here goes, I’ll make a wish as I blow out the candle. 🔥
What I’m sharing here is my vision of my dream partner and our relationship. I know all too well that discord is a necessary part of growth, that relationships require work, and that one person/relationship cannot fulfill all aspects outlined here all of the time. So allow a girl to at least dream…deal?!
The most important quality of this relationship is that when we are together, we feel at home. While we each carry this quality individually, the internal home fires glow more brightly when we are together. As such, we are an anchor of support for one another; a well-grounded type of home base.
While we are comfortable in our respective skins as well as ourselves as individuals, we can share more of ourselves with the other than we can with any other person. In this way we are best friends. The following traits and qualities help support the partnership.
Characteristics of the relationship:
Passionate & Loving. Physical affection is a very important component; it’s truly the best gift for me to receive and to give.
A love of learning & teaching; we “Geek out” on overlapping and individual topics.
Erotic/sensual with an openess to exploration. I am doubting my desire to be monogamous long-term. Unsure what this entails for the future – polyamory or just a sexually open relationship…so being open is important for more deeply exploring boundaries.
Unmasked. A willingness & desire to be vulnerable even if mostly behind closed doors.
Expressive. We are able to effectively communicate, which includes listening, while exploring emotional, mental and spiritual realms. At times, this includes non-verbal communication, an inner knowing that may not have an explanation.
Multi-faceted with a willingness to sharedifferent dimensions together.
Humanitarian. Working together tohelp others to better themselves while also looking within to better ourselves, respectively.
Free-spirited. Allows for growth, exploration and some level of independence. Now that I’m free, there’s no going back to being tethered, manipulated nor controlled…outside of the “bedroom” that is. 😉
Trusting and trustworthy. Honesty is implied.
Physically active and “on the go” at least part of the time. Chillin’ can also be therapeutic.
Accountable. We hold each other to higher levels of potentiality.
Creative. Required for exploration, whether done together or apart.
Humility with a sense of humor. It is required that we be able to joke one another.
Compassionate. We understand that even the best intentions can be frought with human error. Forgiveness is a huge part of this…
Respectful. We don’t always agree, and can still be respectful of the others differences.
Resilient. Able to withstand change, pressure and remains true even when put to the test. This takes 2.
Balanced, the ways in which we offer variation for one another:
His Boyish innocence to my practicality.
His Dominant to my submissive & vice versa (though we can switch or be neutral from time-to-time)
His Protectiveness to my nurturing
Seductive. He is a great kisser whose hands are drawn like magnets to my body. For me, feeling desired is such a huge component to my sexuality (note: as it is for most women). Yet he also gives me the space to be the seductress.
Kid-friendly, without wanting more of his own this factory is closed 😉
He is a gentleman & doesn’t just play one on TV.
He is intelligent (degrees are not necessary) “Make love to her mind and her body will surely follow.”
Somewhat cocky, like salt though, too much can ruin the soup
He is 6’2″ or taller (a 5’8.5″ girl can dream, so he’s still taller than me when I’m in my 4″ platform stilettos 👠)
He has a truck that’s big enough for me to be challenged to drive…and I know how to drive a stick (my beloved Jeep is a 6-speed, after all…).There may just be a double-entendres or two right there.
He has a somewhat muscular build, though without spending most of his spare time in the gym. Icing on the top is for him to look like Tom Welling (again, a girl candream)
Tattoos are also awesome, yet not mandatory
Here is an excellent summary from a recent card reading: Dutiful, diligent and devoted to a job well done –these are the characteristics of the mature man who is committed to working hard on your behalf and will help you find the answers you seek to your problems (remember, this is a card reading). Don’t be afraid to trust this man. While he may appear to have the head of a dreamer and the heart of a wanderer, beneath that restless spirit lies a deepcommitment to humanity and an ocean’s worth of love to offer the right partner.
Interestingly, the queen of the same suit seems to describe me and also appeared in the reading: The woman highlighted in this matter is an achiever who is dedicated, hard-working, and steadfast in her objectives. When an important job needs to be done, she is the one to do it. While she is a visionary at heart and can tend to be swept away by her ideals, she can be practical and pragmatic about life as well. The matter in question will soon take on a new direction through the efforts of such a woman.
Eris is the Greek Goddess of deception and discord. She was the one who threw the golden apple inscribed with the words “for the fairest” between Athena, Aphrodite and Hera. According to mythology, this action was part of what lead to the Trojan War. Eris also represents one of the main archetypes, or Divine patterns, that I carry and the first I’m going to explore. While I generally do not enjoy creating conflicts on a large scale, I do quite enjoy other aspects of this trickster goddess.
Eris comes out in me when I am in groups, particularly with friends both new and old. Usually I am the first to throw the golden apple, but the golden apple I throw is to break down boundaries. I’ll be one of the first to start telling boundary-pushing jokes, or taking my shirt off at a house party, or grabbing my breasts in public and throwing off the folk singer facing me (more details below). I then sit back and watch while I enjoy how far others ride the wave…or laugh as others squirm in their seats.
Another role I quite enjoy and have learned to temper is that of Devil’s Advocate. When I feel someone is being closed-minded, I will present to him or her counterpoints, even when I may be in full agreement with his or her viewpoint. I quite enjoy watching someone’s paradigm shifting. It’s fun to see the lights turn on in new places.
Eris’ love for discord also seems to play a part in how I seem to be uncomfortable with the status quo. When the sun is shining, I look for the clouds. When the rain is pouring down, I look for the silver lining. Perhaps these are my ways of finding balance? Or perhaps it’s just another way that Eris shows up within me in the form of discord.
It has always been fun for me that my age is indeterminate for many. When I was a minor, I looked older, luckily I never got any sailors in trouble for that… Now that I’m 41, many believe I’m in my early thirties. It can be a blessed curse, as I find it difficult to judge the ages of others.
The other trickery I enjoy is acting and appearing innocent, then making perverse or lewd comments. Recently, while seated in front of center stage with friends at an Irish Pub, I grabbed my breasts and threw off the Scottish folk singer. This then started a “one upping” by several friends. What I started others finished. Naughtiness is a such sweet nectar for my inner Eris.
I also feel this aspect is part of my creative side, as Eris enables me to look outside of the box for solutions. Her tenacity is the trait I carry when I view a patient’s issues as a unique riddle to solve. Perhaps Athena and Hera are also involved here.
Then there’s the shape-shifting. This can sound bad, and depending on how far I take it, it can be. As an empath, I can pick up the energies of others. This can be a challenge with lovers, as I can often see their fantasies. This is great when it’s done in a healthy way, yet I must be careful to remain grounded in myself lest I try to become a lover’s living fantasy. It’s not my goal to be deceptive, as this can be dangerous for both of us. Yet the allure of acting out a lover’s fantasy can also be quite sweet.
Shape-shifting can be very useful professionally as it allows me to tolerate quite a bit of gruff from clients without it affecting me too much. Yet this also means that I must later find an outlet to discharge some of the pent up emotions. Shape-shifting allows me to act brave when I’m emotionally affected or even unsure. This is a very important part of any professional practice.
The darker aspects of Eris have been apparent in different times of my life. In middle school, I was one of the “mean girls” who pitted friend against friend. This taught me at an early age to avoid such conflicting roles. Now I use this aspect to help reveal to others their own inner conflicts.
More than I may have liked to admit before, I see how much I can enjoy a bit of discord. For to be too comfortable with the status quo can lead to stagnation. Without some degree of discord, we’d always choose to remain the same. As such, Eris has played an integral role in my path to freedom and living through a heart that is increasingly unfiltered.
Yet I also find it a challenge at times to be at peace with myself. Always striving for more and for better can be exhausting; in this way, there is always another bridge to cross or peak to conquer. Ultimately, I believe that it is when I can fully accept myself that I will finally be home in my own skin, it is in being at peace with all of who I am that sets me free. Owning my own shadow means accepting this stereo’ed paradox.
By virtue of Creation, and still more the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
This week, when I was feeling rather down, I needed to get myself out of the dumps. The work I do does not permit me to stay down. So I started singing again. I imagined myself onstage as I sang the pain of my heart out. It was quite a performance. When the song faded, I started it again. After about 3-4 doses I began to feel alive again. After about 4-5 doses, I felt electrified.
This may not be the right song for you, however, since then when I’ve been feeling blue, I jack up the radio and open up my lungs, heart and throat while I sing. I know it must look like a funny thing to other drivers. I laugh at the thoughts they must be thinking…and just keep singing.
So I encourage you to let the spectrum in. And “say my name” 😉